PhD in Applied Mathematics

PhD in Applied Mathematics Degree

Applied Mathematics at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering is an interdisciplinary field that focuses on the creation and imaginative use of mathematical concepts to pose and solve problems over the entire gamut of the physical and biomedical sciences and engineering, and increasingly, the social sciences and humanities. The program has focuses on understanding nature through the fusion of Artificial Intelligence, Computing (classical to quantum), and Mathematics. We value foundational contributions, societal impact, and ethics in our work. Our program uniquely interfaces with diverse fields, including physics, neuroscience, materials science, economics, biology and fluid mechanics, to tackle some of the most pressing challenges of our time, such as sustainability, responsible digital transformations, and health and well-being.

Working individually and as part of teams collaborating across the University and beyond, you will partner with faculty to quantitatively describe, predict, design and control phenomena in a range of fields. Projects current and past students have worked on include collaborations with mechanical engineers to uncover some of the fundamental properties of artificial muscle fibers for soft robotics and developing new ways to simulate tens of thousands of bubbles in foamy flows for industrial applications such as food and drug production.

Our core mission is to provide students with individualized programs tailored to their interests, needs, and background. We welcome students from diverse technical backgrounds. Our program is dedicated to the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion. We celebrate and value differences among our members, and we strive to create an equitable and inclusive environment for people of all backgrounds.



Applied Mathematics PhD Degree

Harvard School of Engineering offers a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in Applied Mathematics conferred through the Harvard Kenneth C. Griffin Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Doctoral students may earn the masters degree en route to the Ph.D. Prospective students apply through Harvard Griffin GSAS; in the online application, select  “Engineering and Applied Sciences” as your program choice and select “PhD Applied Math” in the Area of Study menu.

The Applied Mathematics program does not offer an independent Masters Degree.

Applied Mathematics PhD Career Paths

Our graduates have gone on to careers such as start-up pioneers, social innovators, and a range of careers in industry in organizations like the Kingdom of Morocco, Meta, and Bloomberg. Others have secured faculty positions at Dartmouth, Imperial College in London, and UCLA. More generally, students with a PhD in Applied Mathematics can go on to careers in academia, banking, data science, bioinformatics, management consulting, government/military research, and more. Also, read about some of our Applied Mathematics alumni.

Admissions & Academic Requirements

Please review the admissions requirements and other information before applying. Our website also provides admissions guidance,  program-specific requirements, and a PhD program academic timeline.

Academic Background

Applicants typically have bachelor’s degrees in the natural sciences, mathematics, computer science, or engineering. 

Standardized Tests

GRE General: Not Accepted

Applied Mathematics Faculty & Research Areas

View a list of our Applied Mathematics faculty and applied mathematics affiliated research areas, Please note that faculty members listed as “Affiliates" or "Lecturers" cannot serve as the primary research advisor.  

Applied Mathematics Centers & Initiatives

View a list of the research centers & initiatives at SEAS and the Applied Mathematics faculty engagement with these entities.

Graduate Student Clubs

Graduate student clubs and organizations bring students together to share topics of mutual interest. These clubs often serve as an important adjunct to course work by sponsoring social events and lectures. Graduate student clubs are supported by the Harvard Kenneth C. Griffin School of Arts and Sciences. Explore the list of active clubs and organizations.

Funding and Scholarship

Learn more about financial support for PhD students.

How to Apply

Learn more about how to apply or review frequently asked questions for prospective graduate students.